By Jess Goulart
Petcube at work, monitoring the dog at home. Photo by Jess Goulart.
It’s midday at the office and I’m worried.
Seven months ago I traveled four hours by car from Queens, New York, into deep Long Island to pick up a new addition to my family–a (then) eight-week-old toy Australian Shepherd puppy. I remember carrying her out of the only home she’d ever known and setting her on my lap.
My new puppy then looked up at me with big, confused eyes. I cooed to her gently that everything was okay, that I would take care of her, that she would always be protected by me.
Overnight she became the little love of my life.
This is Calla:
Calla is now 10 months old. Just recently, my boyfriend and I decided it was in our dog’s best interest to get her spayed. Research shows that fixing your female dog reduces the risk of various cancers and other health problems–plus, of course, we don’t want to worry about her becoming pregnant.
The operation went well, though I’ll never forget how my hands shook and my eyes instantly burned with tears when the vet called me earlier than what I expected. In that moment I thought the worst.
Luckily, the vet reassured me that Calla’s surgery was simply completed early and that my puppy could be picked up at any time.
I rushed to go get her. But when I arrived to the vet’s office, I had never seen my precious puppy looking so completely not herself–all disheveled, drugged, and exhausted. When the next morning came and I had to leave for work it broke my heart. I was terrified a health complication would arise that I wouldn’t know about.
My continuous concern for Calla’s safety causes me to sit at my desk tapping my feet with a knot in my stomach. A text message from my boyfriend tells me he has also left the apartment. However, my guilt and worry subside when I instantly swipe an app in my phone called Petcube.
Petcube is a new device that was created after a successful Kickstarter campaign. As the name suggests, it’s a lightweight 4x4x4 cube that can sit anywhere in users’ homes and stream HD video of their pets to their phones. The small device also features two-way speakers and a laser that users can control via the app, enabling them to talk to and play with their pets even in their absence.
I never thought I would be into monitoring my pet with a camera, but the second I turn on Petcube and see Calla sleeping soundly on my bed peacefully, chew toys strewn around her, the steady rise and fall of her chest crystal clear on the video, I am hooked. Instant relief and reassurance replaces nerves and angst, so I let out a long, deep sigh.
Now that I know she’s okay, I play with the Petcube a little more and discover I can share the live stream to other people who have the Petcube app.
Within minutes, my mom is watching Calla from Germany, my sister from South Carolina, and my dad from Colorado. They tell me how the video feature helps them feel more connected to me and Calla, like they are a part of our lives even though we’re far apart.
For me, keeping an eye on Calla through the days following her surgery was invaluable. Now I play with the Petcube pretty much all day when I’m away from her. Apart from knowing that my puppy is safe and secure, the technology is just plain cool.
Petcube costs $199, hooks up to your wifi, and is iOS and Android compatible. In case you couldn’t guess, I highly, highly recommend getting one if you are a pet owner. It’s an excellent way to show your animals you care, plus put your fears to rest.
In fact, I going to stop writing this so I can get back to mine.